Chris the Swiss (2018)

The past can be a prickly thing. One of the strengths of Anja Kofmel’s part-animated documentary investigation into the death of her cousin Chris in Croatia in 1992 is that it does not attempt to sand the troubled history it explores down to smoothness. Instead, Kofmel, who was a child when 27-year-old journalist Christian Würtenberg was found strangled in a Balkan field wearing the uniform of a mercenary unit embroiled in the Yugoslav War, uses a variety of approaches […] to embody those contradictions without claiming to understand them.

Chris was a good-looking, Bradley Cooper-esque young man with a thrill-seeking nature […]. At a young age, […]‚ Chris left Switzerland in search of adventure on several continents, before being magnetically drawn, as were so many young men back then, to the conflict in the Balkans.
[Chris the Swiss] is liberated from being a slavish work of investigative journalism and free to develop into a more compelling and artistic hybrid of memoir, biographical documentary and general discussion of why young men feel their pulses quicken at the idea of fighting in a foreign war. […] [Kofmel’s] animations are particularly lovely, evoking the hero worship she felt as a child for her larger-than-life relative […].

Jessica Kiang, Variety

  • Orig. title: Chris the Swiss
  • Language: English, Spanish, German
  • Subtitles: partly English
  • Distribution: Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion
  • Print source: Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion
  • Cinematography: Simon Guy Fässler
  • Music: Marcel Vaid
  • Editing: Stefan Kälin

Collaboration